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Result: Chippewa Valley Grouse Dog Association

Location: Augusta, Wisconsin

Post Date: Mar 27, 2021

Submitted By: Brent Sittlow

The Chippewa Valley Grouse Dog Association's spring trials can be a crap shoot in the spring. A recent rash of bad weather cancellations in preceding years, combined with the spring 2020 pandemic crisis, makes the spring season seem like a lost cause of late. But 2021 is a new beginning.

Spring came early, the woodcock were back in Wisconsin on time, and the winter-over grouse were plentiful.

Open Shooting Dog Winners. From left:  Mike Luebke with Rebellious Fearless Fred, Tim Kaufman with Northern Slopes Bell, Ed Graddy (behind) and Sig Degitz with Northern Slopes Allie

The CVGDA has also teamed up with Eau Claire County Forestry to sink a lot of time and money in road improvements to make spring travel to our multiple courses, much easier. If the conditions cooperate, the early spring trials are my favorite in WI. The river bottom courses at the Eau Clare County Forest grounds, are open up for great viewing, and rewards a dog that can hit all the spots.

A big thanks to all the CVGDA members and participants that made the trial go smoothly. Roger King, Denny Bauman, Tom Goltz, Mike Luebke, and Rod Lein kept the trucks moving, and tag teamed the marshalling duties on the courses. Is was great to see a lot of new faces as well, and hopefully we can parlay that into active cover dog field trailers, in the future.

Open Derby Winners

Of course, a final thank you to our sponsor, Purina, for being a big supporter of the Cover Dog clubs. It would be really difficult for Cover Dog clubs to do these trials without you.

Judges Josh Horvat and Brent Sittlow presided over the one-hour Open Shooting Dog Stake, which saw a solid entry of sixteen dogs over six separate courses.


The first day was quite ideal in the weather department. Overcast, calm, and just a bit of rain to finish the day. The dogs took advantage of that by producing a good mixture of grouse and woodcock evenly across the six courses.

The first place dog, Rebellious Fearless Fred (Mike Luebke), came out of the third brace on the Highline Course, with two stylish, independent woodcock finds, a back, and consistently searching race.

Rebellious Fearless Fred, First in Open Shooting Dog Stake

The third place dog, North Slopes Allie (James Graddy) came out of second brace on the Gasline Course. A remarkable grouse find in the first 10 minutes had her in the driver's seat. A complementary woodcock find later in the hour helped offset an unproductive. Maintaining a good pace through the middle of the hour kept her in contention. Stop to flush neither helped, nor hurt her chances on the back half of the course. A good performance.

The second morning of the stake was windy, cold, and crunchy as wet rain and snow froze the ground overnight. Only two braces were left, and the second place dog rose up to embrace the challenge. Northern Slopes Bell (Graddy) came out of the final brace and attacked the Gasline Course evenly from start to finish. Her snappy ground race had the judge's attention from beginning to end. A stylish woodcock find at 20 would all that she would need to secure her spot on the leaderboard.

Other dogs finishing the hour with clean bird work, in the order in which they ran: Over The Hill Merry (Rod Lein) on the Highline Course; Alder Fork Blaze (Cook) on the Horse Creek Course; Fly'n Gun Ruby (Steinbach) on the County Road H Course; and Boisterous Bart (Luebke) on the Gasline Course.

The Open Derby was good one. It consisted of five braces of good action over multiple courses.

Judges Lydia Sittlow and Brent Sittlow named Sigrud Northwoods Olsen (Chris Bye) the first place dog. It doesn't happen by accident. You see it so often that the best ground race in these multiple course wild bird Derby stakes, are usually rewarded with the tough spring birds in front of their nose. And that is exactly how it happened this day on the east side of the County Road H Course.

Second was a Blue Sugar (Hough) that smoked the second half of the Stokely Diablo Jake Course. Third place went to Dauntless Dreamer (Benshoof) on the Horse Creek Course. Dreamer had strong start, a bit of an absence in the middle of her brace, which only slightly distracted from her self-directed quest for thick bird cover to finish the full thirty minutes.

Augusta, Wis., March 28

Judges: Josh Horvat and Brent Sittlow

OPEN SHOOTING DOG [One-Hour Heats] -- 4 Pointers,

11 Setters and 1 Brittany

1st--REBELLIOUS FEARLESS FRED, 1667542, setter male, by Keystone's Red Recession--Tim's Setter Rosie. Mike Luebke, owner and handler.

2d--NORTHERN SLOPES BELL, 1682006, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac--Out of the Shadows. James Graddy, owner and handler.

3d--NORTH SLOPES ALLIE, 1683547, setter female, by A Keystone Kid--Signature Ridge Cody. James Graddy, owner and handler.

Judges: Brent Sittlow and Lydia Sittlow

OPEN DERBY -- 4 Pointers and 6 Setters

1st--SIGURD NORTHWOODS OLSON, 1691234, setter male, by Northwoods Rob Roy--Northwoods Minerva. Chris Bye, owner and handler.

2d--BLUE SUGAR, 1692194, setter female, by Jetwood--I'm Blue Who. Ryan Hough, owner and handler.

3d--DAUNTLESS DREAMER, 1688748, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac--Moss meadow Lil. Bert Benshoof, owner and handler.